Reviews

Metric @ Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre – November 9th 2012

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The reunion that took place last night was not that of family but two indie/new wave rock groups finally sharing the same stage.

Metric and Stars have a history. Emily Haines of Metric and Amy Millan of Stars went to school together as children. The two groups also collaborated in their early days When Stars toured with Super group Broken Social scene in which Haines and Metric guitarist James Shaw played; the two bands would frequently swap members during shows.

There was no interaction between the groups during their performance at the Save on Foods Memorial Center. This was the start of a World tour to promote Metrics new album Synthetica, and they did not disappoint; both bands put on an energetic, upbeat, and heartfelt performances.

Stars took to the stage while the audience was still trickling in. Playing to a small crowd with little energy can affect some bands– Stars were not fazed. Lead singer Torquil Campbell grabs the microphone telling everyone how excited he was to be there and started the show with the groups catch line “we are Stars and so are you.”

The deep rhythm of the synth spread through the arena and the crowd that managed to make it for the opening act began to cheer. Right from the start of the show you could tell that Torquil was going to own the stage; he was sporting what looked like a keyboard necktie and didn’t stop dancing until the music was over.

There were a couple technical difficulties during the first few songs, but nothing that took away from the performance; the issues were solved quickly. You never know what you are going to get when you step into an arena for a concert. The sound was good this night, with only a bit of the twang that large open arenas supply.

The two lead singers really fed off of each other, you could tell they were comfortable on stage. The group really hit their stride during We Don’t Want Your Body; the vocals of Amy Millan really stood out and propelled the performance to the next level.

The group played a mixture of songs from all their records, the set flowed well and kept the audience engaged. Stars are a perfect opening band for Metric. They have an upbeat sound that is just a little less aggressive than that of the headliner. Those who did not come out to see the opening act really missed a good show that set the mood for the night.

The Stage went a deep shade of blue and the sound of a resonating bass filled the ears of those in the crowd– which had doubled in size. Metric started off the show strong with Haines holding nothing back during the opening song Artificial Nocturne.

The set transitioned nicely with all the new songs from Synthetica sounding well-rehearsed. Some life seemed to show in the audience when the group played their new hit Youth without Youth. I did not know someone could dance so hard and give so much while wearing heels, Emily is just impressive.

The whole band put on an exceptional show. Their energy was through the roof (that’s saying a lot when you are in an arena) and it started to rub off on the people in the crowd about midway through the set—they finally started to move. Joshua Winstead put on a great performance, it’s always nice when the bass/keyboard player doesn’t just stand there and stare off into space.

The music from the new album is cleaner than some of the Metric classics and it is the more aggressive and bass driven songs like Satellite Mind, Help I’m Alive, and Dead Disco that really got the audience going and had people finally rising from their seats. It may take a song that somebody really knows and likes to get them out of their chair, but once up, the energy and passion of the band kept them dancing.

This tour is for the album Synthetica so it is sad that they only played six tracks from the eleven track album. But as I said before it was the older music that got the crowed moving and Metric seemed happy to give them what they wanted.

We saw Emily dance all night, play the synth and tambourine, and during the encore performance of Gold Guns Girls the lead singer strapped on a guitar and showed the audience what it means to rock and roll.

The night ended with Haines and guitar player James Shaw performing an acoustic version of Gimme Sympathy. It was the perfect way to end a night that was filled with heavy bass and blaring synths; it really brought a personal aspect into the show. The two were joined by the rest of the band to finish things up and say goodnight to Victoria. This really was an exceptional show; both bands performed amazingly and left everything on the stage.

Photos © Meaghan Konopaki

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